Gwen Williams, Mental Health Therapist

Gwen Williams

Analytic Psychotherapist, Mindfulness Therapist

My professional qualifications, accreditations and memberships:

  • Certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Diploma in Clinical Supervision: Westminster Pastoral Foundation
  • Diploma in Psychotherapy and Social Studies:  Institute of Psychotherapy
  • BA Hons Librarianship and Information Studies: North London Polytechnic

Professional Training in Mindfulness

  • Certificate in .b Foundation Mindfulness Course: the Mindfulness in Schools Project
  • Teach .b Teacher Training Course: The Mindfulness in Schools Project
  • Mindful Movement with the Centre for Mindfulness, Bangor
  • Emergent Intelligence: Attending to the Wisdom of the Group in the MBI
  • Mindfulness Professional Development Group: Bangor University
  • Mindfulness One 2 One: Centre for Mindfulness, Bangor University
  • Exploring the Inquiry Process in Mindfulness Teaching: Centre for Mindfulness, Bangor University

My professional experience:

I bring over 20 years personal and clinical experience to my work at the Nightingale Hospital. On the general therapy programme I facilitate a weekly mindfulness awareness group, and on occasion, I facilitate the interpersonal therapy groups. In addition, I co-convene the eight-week Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy course. Alongside group based therapy I offer individual therapy for a broad range of emotional and mental health difficulties.

I worked at City Hackney Mind (CHM) for sixteen years as a psychotherapist, most recently as Clinical Services Manager for the Psychological and Wellbeing Services. I provided clinical supervision to professional staff, including counsellors and psychotherapists who carried clinical caseloads. The range of clinical issues addressed  was multi-layered and complex: early childhood trauma, addiction and substance abuse, domestic violence, low self-esteem, parenting difficulties, unwanted/unplanned pregnancy, and a spectrum of mental health issues. Clients were offered a safe space and the opportunity to explore difficult behavioural patterns and supported to develop insights and other ways of being that could result in more rewarding and fulfilling relationships. In line with my interest in clients who have enduring mental health issues, I worked as the Day Centre Manager at Islington Mind for three years and helped set up and provide a crisis telephone counselling service to residents in Islington.

Prior to my employment at CHM I worked for six years at the Women’s Therapy Centre as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, providing individual psychotherapy. I was also the resident therapist for the Lambo African-Caribbean Day Centre.

My personal statement:

As psychotherapist and mindfulness teacher, my approach is collaborative and client-centred.  My primary goal are to work with clients to achieve an understanding of the subtle, and complicated, ways a person sees and experiences the world. Psychotherapy offers a route towards enhancing an awareness of personal experience and the meanings generated from it, and creates the potential for exercising choice in how people approach others.

I meet each client with openness, flexibility and respect. I listen and engage with the client anew at each session. My perspective is that it is the psychotherapeutic relationship which is central to the success of therapy.

While my therapeutic approach is located within a primarily psychoanalytical and object-relational orientation, I have developed mindfulness therapies alongside this, which can offer an integrative and client-centred pathway. I am interested in supporting clients to develop an awareness of how the past may be impacting on their current lives, build awareness and insight, and supporting their ability to choose different ways of being in the world and relating to self and other.

I have experience of working with a range of clinical issues, and I am particularly interested in the impact of attachment difficulties, loss and separation, adults who have a history of childhood abuse, the role of shame, trauma, and adoption.

Additional information about my research, publications and interests:

In addition to my work as a psychotherapist, I have substantial experience as a mindfulness teacher in schools, and in the private and voluntary sector. In 2013, I was the lead teacher for a randomised study based at City University entitled ‘The Neuroscience of mindfulness therapies: the effects of mindfulness training on body awareness, perception and psychological wellbeing.’ In mid-2015 I was a guest teacher for  the launch of  the “Centre for Psychological Wellbeing & Neuroscience at City University.”

More recently I was involved in the Mindfulness All Party Parliamentary Group round table discussions and consultations, looking at ways of increasing access to mindfulness-based interventions across the nation. This led to the launch and publication of the Mindful Nation UK 2015 Interim Report.

I subscribe to the UK Network of Mindfulness Based Teachers Good Practice guidelines and take part in an on-going program of professional development through the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice and Oxford Mindfulness Centre.

Finally I have an interest in compassionate focused therapy and interpersonal dialogue.

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